Just shy of his 90th birthday, Michael L. McGowan died peacefully on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, after a long battle with dementia. He was the second of six children born to Michael and Roseanna (O'Hara) on July 12, 1922, in Akron, Ohio. During his time at Garfield High School, he set track and field records, won a Golden Gloves city championship, became vice president of his senior class and graduated in 1942.|
Later that year, Michael enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and then married his high school sweetheart, Daisy Norman, in 1943. He served in World War II, working as a medic and patrolling regions of the North Atlantic and New Orleans, Louisiana.
He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California in 1950. He later returned to Akron, where he worked at B.F. Goodrich and attended the University of Akron's law school. He became a lawyer at the age of 38 and practiced for about 45 years.
Michael was a member of Saint Sebastian Church, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and several other organizations throughout the years. He enjoyed the outdoors, as evidenced by his frequent hunting and fishing trips. But he also sought to satisfy his thirst for knowledge by reading about science, technology, law, religion, politics and the world; listening to jazz and Celtic music; and traveling.
In his 70s, Michael visited relatives in Ireland twice, and even as he spent the last years of his life at The Merriman, he remained a true fighting Irishman. "Keep on sluggin'," he often told family and friends.
Michael will be remembered for his resilient spirit, adventurous nature, love of life and passion for debate. He almost never wasted an opportunity eat, drink and be merry.
Michael was preceded in death by his wife, Daisy; infant son, Timothy; his parents; brothers, Art and Jack; and sister, Mary Ellen (Michael). He is survived by his sister, Rosemarie (Geiger); brother, James (Mary Ann); son, Michael (Diego Gonzalo); daughters, Patty (Butch) Barkman, Cathy (Pattie) and Maureen (Jeff) Ulrich; and grandsons, Robby Oskar, Ryan Oskar, Scott, Sean (Heather), Nate (Deanna) Ulrich and Chris Ulrich. He also leaves behind, nine great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild and many nieces and nephews.
His family sends its gratitude to Summa Hospice and The Merriman for their care and kindness.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Saint Sebastian Church, 476 Mull Ave., Akron, with interment to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, where Firestone VFW Post 3383 will conduct military services. Calling hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Ciriello & Carr Funeral Home, 39 S. Miller Road, Fairlawn. Donations may be made to The Merriman activity group or Saint Sebastian Church.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal on June 21, 2012